Members of US Congress Ask Britain to Return Elgin Marbles to Greece

The Parthenon’s Selene Horse. Credit: 3dnatureguy/Wikimedia Commons

Eighteen members of the House of Representatives urged Britain to open talks “in earnest” for the return of the Parthenon sculptures to Greece in a letter addressed to United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson.

The letter stated “The Marbles have been the source of controversy among western allies for many decades. Greece has long wanted these Parthenon Marbles back.

“Today we write to you as members of the congressional caucus on Hellenic Issues to urge your government to negotiate with the Greek government in earnest on the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.”

The group of congressmen, which contained both Republicans and Democrats, included the chair of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee covering Europe and the chairs of the Oversight and Rules Committees.

They want to see the sculptures returned by 2021 – the 200th anniversary of the modern Greek state’s founding.

The letter adds: “We remain appreciative of your efforts and good will in support of the historic special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and look forward to strengthening that relationship through the accomplishment of matters such as this.”

The eighteen members of the House of Representatives who signed the letter are:

  • Gus M. Bilirakis
  • Carolyn B. Maloney
  • John Sarbanes
  • Dina Titus
  • Chris Pappas
  • James McGovern
  • Barbara Lee
  • David N. Cicilline
  • Donald M. Payne, Jr.
  • Tim Ryan
  • Grace F. Napolitano
  • William R. Keating
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Mike Quingley
  • Lizzy Fletcher
  • Peter Visclosky
  • Andy Levin
  • Sheila Jackson Lee

Dating back almost 2,500 years to the 5th century BC, the Elgin Marbles are seen some of the finest examples of marble sculpture to ever have been created in the world.

They were chipped away and removed from the Parthenon in Athens by Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, between 1801 and 1805.